Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Potential to Emerge) was facilitated by Simmone Bowe on Jan. 5. The event took place at Garnell Limperes’ Island Waves Community Center in Marsh Harbour, and will take place every six weeks.
Bowe, a transformation strategist for the Horizons Development Group, explained that the free community forum for parents provides strategies on understanding teens, exploring the learning process, and engaging in the child’s learning experience.
“Project H.O.P.E. is a parenting support initiative of Horizons Academy to help its parents and those in the wider community to effectively support and engage in their child’s learning experience,” she said.
Although the parenting forum was Project H.O.P.E.’s first event to be held, the project’s focus was two-fold. Bowe pointed out that it gave parents strategies to become more involved in their child’s learning experience while forging a positive reinforcement and partnership with Horizons Academy; and it helped parents understand teen behavior and ways to improve those relationships.
Included on the list of featured speakers were Toastmaster Ta-Tanisha Murray and Psychologist Vernelle Swain. Ms. Murray talked about her role as a parent, and how parents can take an active role in their child’s learning experience.
Meanwhile, Ms. Swain, who is the director of Wellspring Center for Leadership and Development Center, focused on a worldview of parenting, the developmental and transitional stages of children, and she listed emotional signs that may indicate that something is wrong. She also challenged parents to look beyond their own children by helping other children in the community.
Parents also participated in a role play to demonstrate some of the issues that families experience. Some of the things that stood out for Bowe was the disconnection between children and their parents, their understanding of each other’s wants and expectations; being able to communicate; and knowing how to parent effectively, which in some instances is different from how they were parented.
All in all, Bowe said she hoped that as a result of the forum, parents would get involved in their child’s learning by creating an environment at home for the love of learning, discipline, inquiry and research. She added that parents must understand how differently this generation thinks, speaks and acts; they must maintain standards for respect and discipline. Finally, she said that parents should adjust their parenting style to suit their maturing child by giving age-appropriate responsibilities and allowing input in the creation of rules.